Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I'm excited to let you all know that I've decided to go for it and create my own blog. I've been working on developing a character whom I hope you'll all want to read about. She'll have her share of drama (of course), but she'll be smart (usually!) about how to handle all that crops up in her life. I don't want to tell you too much because I'd rather you form your own opinions of who she is based on my writing. So, I'll save the details about her for the first post, which will be this Friday.

I've been thinking about a posting schedule, and I keep coming back to the same thing. With the time constraints I have right now, it's only going to be possible for me to commit to one post every other week. I know, I know, it's not a lot, but I don't want to disappoint anyone by not updating when I say I will, so it's best I not promise more than I know I can handle right now. I will do my best to make the entries I do post worth your time.

I hope to see you on Friday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Legal ramifications...

PamInNC (Thanks, Pam!) mentioned in the comments section that the last person who had tried writing her own version of a Redbook blog was given a cease and desist order, which was something I was already worried about as a possible outcome if I went ahead with more entries for DoE. I'd like to continue, but I'm concerned that Redbook/Hearst Women's Network would not appreciate my borrowing their "intellectual property" for my own use. Big companies tend to be sticklers about things like this.

I can also understand from Laura Dave's perspective that she would want control of her own characters and that she might not like my take on her story. (Laura Dave is the author of DoE, or at least she was when the diary started).

So, I'm thinking I may just ask Redbook if I can write this little blog with their blessing. (It would be great if they said yes because I've got about a million ideas on where E's story could go). My hope is that Redbook might consider my request since I am not seeking to gain anything financially from my writing using their characters.

I'm not overly optimistic, however. Hey, maybe I'll get lucky and they'll offer me a job! One can wish....

On a side note, because of all of your wonderful praise and encouragement, I am considering starting a blog of my own. I still haven't decided for sure if it's something I could commit to because my life is very busy right now (whose isn't, I know...), but it's definitely something I would enjoy doing. So, I will let you all know if/when I hear back from Redbook, and I'll keep you updated on whether or not I'll go ahead with a new blog.

And I want to say thanks so much for all of your compliments on my writing! I am seriously blown away with the positive response I've gotten from all of you, especially since I am so rusty at writing fiction these days. It put a smile on my face today knowing that what I'd written seems to have pleased so many of you. It really does mean a lot. Thanks again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22, 2008

I decided that I needed to get out of the city to clear my head and make some decisions about this new job and what I was going to do about Josh.

When Jackson and Kerry got home from the library, I told them both to pack a bag because we were heading to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina for some much-needed R&R. This little break would also give me a chance to get to know Kerry better and give me some time to check in with Jackson and find out how his internship was going and what else he had been up to the last few weeks. It seemed as though we hadn't really had much of a chance to talk lately with my being so involved with the drama at work and focusing on my pregnancy and relationship with Josh. It would be good to reconnect with him.

After we had packed, we grabbed a cab and headed to the airport. As we were walking towards the ticket counter, I pulled out my cell phone and called Billy to tell her that I'd be out of town for a few days but that I'd be checking my email if she needed to reach me. After I hung up with her, I called Beth and was glad to get her voicemail. I left her a quick message, telling her what I'd told Billy, and we got in line to buy our tickets.

We cleared security without much hassle, and I was glad when we finally boarded our plane. Once we got to our seats, I settled in and let out a sigh of relief to be getting away from all the insanity of the last couple of weeks. I felt the baby twisting and doing her acrobatics like she'd started doing recently. I don't know why, but I really feel like the baby is going to be a girl. As I rested my hand on my stomach, I thought about the situation I was bringing her in to. I just hoped that I could make things stable before she was born. I at least owed her that.

After we landed in Savannah, we rented a car and drove down to our hotel on the island. We checked in to a lovely hotel that was only a few steps from the beach. I made sure to get us a suite so we'd have enough room and privacy for everyone. I have to admit, the pay with my job allows me to live a luxurious life. Even with all the craziness, I am very lucky to have the life I do.

Once we got up to our suite, Kerry and I decided to take the room with two beds while Jackson ran and plopped down onto the king-sized bed in the other room.

"I hereby claim this bed in the name of Jackson!" he joked, as he sprawled out on the bed.

Kerry and I laughed at his silliness. It was nice to see him in such a great mood. We all definitely needed this trip to get a break from reality for a while.

The bedrooms were separated by a living room, and there was a tiny kitchenette behind a dividing wall. I pulled back the curtains to the small balcony that was off the living room to let in some sunlight. What a gorgeous view of the ocean! I opened the French doors and stepped outside. As I breathed in the humid, salty air, I felt myself relax instantly. I felt better than I had in days.

Kerry and Jackson asked if they could go see what there was to do in the hotel. We thought we had seen a game room when we were at the front desk, and off the lobby, there was a huge pool with a lazy river and a water slide beyond some glass doors that we’d seen as we took our luggage to the elevator. I definitely was going to spend some time on that lazy river while we were here.

I told them to go ahead and let them know I was going to do some exploring myself but that I’d have my cell phone if they needed to reach me. We all agreed to meet back in the room in an hour.

After they left, I decided to take a walk on the beach to take some photographs and to sort some things out. I left my sandals at the hotel and headed down by the surf to let the waves roll in over my feet as I walked along the shore. It was a beautiful day, warm, but not too hot, and when I looked out across the water, it seemed to go on forever. I zoomed in on a sailboat off in the distance and as I took my shot, I thought about the people on the boat and wondered if their lives were as complicated as mine was...or at least as complicated as mine seemed right now.

I don't know what I should do about Josh at this point. And honestly, I wonder if maybe I was over-reacting to the situation with Billy because of my hormones. I know that seems cliche, but I had been feeling a bit emotional lately and not like my normal self. However, it was very stupid of Josh to hire Billy, thinking it wouldn't be an issue to be working so closely with a woman he'd slept with. And then for him to expect me to be her subordinate was mind-blowing. Wow, it was incredible how oblivious he was.

One thing that really bothers me about this whole situation is how he really doesn't have any insight into things, and he sincerely didn't seem to understand how it might upset me to work for a woman who knew Josh as I knew Josh. The thought disgusted me, and it truly saddened me that Josh lacked empathy for me and seemed to not even care about how the situation might make me feel. That was what worried me about a future with him. What kind of husband would he be if he didn't consider my feelings when he made life-changing decisions?

Suddenly, a black Lab came running up to me and jumped up on me with sandy paws. I was completely caught off guard because I had been so lost in my thoughts. As I brushed the sand from my pants, I saw the dog's owner was off quite a ways behind him, and I heard the man call out to me.

"I'm so sorry about Jake. Please forgive him. He really loves people, especially women." he said, as he jogged towards me.

As the man started to come into view, he looked vaguely familiar. It was taking a minute for my brain to comprehend who it was walking up to me. The man seemed to figure things out at about the same moment I did.

"Liz? Is that you?" he said in disbelief.

Oh my...I had to take a breath as it began to register just what was taking place. There, standing before me, was Doug.

"Doug? Wow. You're about the last person I expected to run in to here."

Jake continued to jump around Doug and me, wagging his tail, begging to be petted. Doug clicked a leash on to his collar and commanded him to lie down. Jake did as he was told, and then Doug turned to me.

"Liz, what a surprise! You look wonderful." He looked down at my stomach and I saw understanding come across his face and then, almost too quick to notice, a touch of sadness. "Congratulations." he said, almost in a whisper.

"Thank you," I said quietly. I couldn't believe I was standing here talking to Doug. He looked as handsome as ever, his dark hair grown out and a spread of stubble across his tanned face. He looked genuinely happy.

And then, a feeling flashed through me. Something inside me longed for him to hold me, to make me feel safe in his arms. What in the world was I thinking? The last thing I needed was another man in my life to complicate things further. I had enough to worry about right now.

"So what brings you to Hilton Head?" he asked, interrupting my thoughts.

"I could ask you the same thing." I laughed nervously. "I'm down here to get a break from work and to relax a bit before the baby's born." He didn't need to know that I was down here to figure out just what I was going to do with my life.

"So, what are you doing here? You look awfully tan to have been here only on a vacation."

"Well, actually, I live here now." he replied. "After you left Chicago, the house felt so empty without you, and...."

He must have noticed the look on my face that told him not to continue with that line of conversation. I was in no mood to reminisce right now. A guilt trip was not the kind of trip I was down here for.

"Sorry.” he said, changing the subject. “Anyway, I wanted to get away, and with as much as I love the ocean and golf, Hilton Head seemed like a great place to go." he said. "I loved it so much that I decided to stay. I sold the house in Chicago and bought a little place near the water. It's not huge, but it's enough for me. And Jake."

With the sound of his name, Jake got up and began wagging his tail again, jumping around in the sand.

"Listen, I should get back to my walk. Jake gets antsy if we sit too long out here. He loves to splash around in the surf and chase after seagulls. I wish I had half his energy!"

He smiled at me with his roguish grin, the same grin that had once endeared him so much to me. I realized as I stood there how much I missed my friend Doug. Not the husband or lover but my friend. If nothing else, Doug was always a voice of reason in my life, and he was a good listener. He had always been supportive of me. As much as I needed a friend I could trust right now, Doug didn't seem like a good candidate. There was just too much history there.

"Why don't you come by later for dinner? We can steam some crabs that I caught this morning. How does that sound?"

"I don't know, Doug." I said. "For one, I'm not here by myself. I've got my nephew, Jackson, here with me and his girlfriend Kerry. And I'm not sure it's such a good idea. I'm engaged."

I saw him glance down at my ring finger on my left hand and saw him take in the rock that sat there. The funny thing was that I had actually meant to take it off that morning because it was starting to get tight, due to the swelling from the pregnancy, but I hadn't.

"Well, it'd be fun to catch up, but I understand if you can't." he said. "If you change your mind, though, I live in the pale blue house right over there." He pointed to a small clapboard house, the paint peeling from exposure to the salty air.

"You could come by at sunset if you'd like to join me."

"I think we'll probably be eating elsewhere tonight, but thank you for the invitation." I said. "Goodbye, Doug."

"Goodbye, Liz. It was great to see you."

"You too," I said, as I walked away from Doug and Jake.

After a few steps, I turned back to have one more look. Jake was back off his leash, bounding away in the sand, yapping at two seagulls who were fighting over a small shell that must have held something tasty. Doug was walking slowly, his head down, his hands in his pockets. He looked dejected, and I felt a bit sorry for him.

What was it about Doug that made him turn up in my life just as I was about to marry another man? First Jason. Now Josh. I shook my head at the strangeness of it all.

I waited until Doug was a tiny dot on the horizon before I turned around and headed back to the hotel. After my walk, I felt no closer to making any decisions about my life. If anything, I felt even more confused than before.


As I mentioned over on the DoE site, I was bored and I'm just as frustrated as many of you seem to be with this storyline, so I decided to write a bit of my take on Liz's story. Hopefully, you'll all enjoy it. If nothing else, it's something to read while we wait for a real update!